Definition of policy noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpɒləsi//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɑːləsi//
    (pl. policies) International relations
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  1. 1  [countable, uncountable] policy (on something) a plan of action agreed or chosen by a political party, a business, etc. the present government’s policy on education The company has adopted a firm policy on shoplifting. We have tried to pursue a policy of neutrality. US foreign/domestic policy They have had a significant change in policy on paternity leave. a policy document CollocationsPoliticsPower create/​form/​be the leader of a political party gain/​take/​win/​lose/​regain control of Congress start/​spark/​lead/​be on the brink of a revolution be engaged/​locked in an internal power struggle lead/​form a rival/​breakaway faction seize/​take control of the government/​power bring down/​overthrow/​topple the government/​president/​regime abolish/​overthrow/​restore the monarchy establish/​install a military dictatorship/​a stable government be forced/​removed/​driven from office/​power resign/​step down as party leader/​an MP/​president/​prime minister enter/​retire from/​return to political lifePolitical debate spark/​provoke a heated/​hot/​intense/​lively debate engage in/​participate in/​contribute to (the) political/​public debate (on/​over something) get involved in/​feel excluded from the political process launch/​start/​lead/​spearhead a campaign/​movement join/​be linked with the peace/​anti-war/​feminist/​civil rights movement criticize/​speak out against/​challenge/​support the government lobby/​put pressure on the government (to do something) come under fire/​pressure from opposition partiesPolicy call for/​demand/​propose/​push for/​advocate democratic/​political/​land reform(s) formulate/​implement domestic economic policy change/​influence/​shape/​have an impact on government/​economic/​public policy be consistent with/​be in line with/​go against/​be opposed to government policy reform/​restructure/​modernize the tax system privatize/​improve/​deliver/​make cuts in public services invest (heavily) in/​spend something on schools/​education/​public services/(the) infrastructure nationalize the banks/​the oil industry promise/​propose/​deliver/​give ($80 billion in/​significant/​substantial/​massive) tax cuts a/​the budget is approved/ (especially North American English) passed by parliament/​congressMaking laws have a majority in/​have seats in Parliament/​Congress/​the Senate propose/​sponsor a bill/​legislation/​a resolution introduce/​bring in/​draw up/​draft/​adopt/​pass a bill/​a law/​legislation/​measures amend/​repeal an act/​a law/​legislation veto/​vote against/​oppose a bill/​legislation/​a measure/​a proposal/​a resolution get/​require/​be decided by a majority vote See related entries: International relations
  2. 2[countable, uncountable] (formal) a principle that you believe in that influences how you behave; a way in which you usually behave She is following her usual policy of ignoring all offers of help. (saying) Honesty is the best policy.
  3. 3  [countable] a written statement of a contract of insurance Check the terms of the policy before you sign. Wordfinderactuary, annuity, cover, excess, insurance, no-claims bonus, policy, premium, risk, underwrite
  4. Word Originsenses 1 to 2 late Middle English: from Old French policie ‘civil administration’, via Latin from Greek politeia ‘citizenship’, from politēs ‘citizen’, from polis ‘city’.sense 3 mid 16th cent.: from French police ‘bill of lading, contract of insurance’, from Provençal poliss(i)a, probably from medieval Latin apodissa, apodixa, based on Greek apodeixis ‘evidence, proof’, from apodeiknunai ‘demonstrate, show’.Extra examples Some have criticized universities for their admissions policies. The company operates a strict no-smoking policy. The company’s policy of expansion has created many new jobs. The government followed a policy of restraint in public spending. The magazine has a misguided editorial policy. The policy covers (you for) accidental loss or damage. Their economic policies affect us all. We have a zero-tolerance policy for drugs. a deliberate policy to involve people of all ages in the scheme a doctrine that would dictate American foreign policy for some time to come a policy adviser who made his name as a health reformer a policy aimed at halting economic recession a policy prohibiting sexual harassment affirmative-action policies that aim to help members of historically disadvantaged groups an open-door policy for migrant workers policies designed to support and encourage marriage policies governing the management of the environment risks defined in the policy the need to address public policy issues at the national level the need to reform our flawed agricultural policy the party’s policy on housing the types of claims covered under the policy As far as crime goes, they seem to have no coherent policy. As the old saying goes, honesty is the best policy. It is my policy not to say anything to the press. My department has adopted an open-door policy. Silence must be our policy! The party is undertaking a wide-ranging policy review. The party’s new policy on education has yet to be revealed. Their social policy is good, but will it work in practice? This marks a change in US policy towards Europe. We should not let such concerns influence our economic policies. What aspects of foreign policy would you like to see changed?
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: policy